Stan Lee: Not just another superheroLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Stan Lee: Not just another superhero

Where were you when you first learned Stan Lee died?

It’s a question like where were you when JFK was shot, or Reagan was shot, or the Shuttle blew up, or the Twin Towers fell.

I think everyone knows who Stan Lee is right?

(Jeff Worman)

An American icon. An American hero. An American legend that made legends. Graphic novels before there were graphic novels: Stan Lee.

Where were you when you first learned Stan Lee gave us Marvel Comics: Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, Ironman, the Avengers, the Silver Surfer and countless others? That is probably a more introspective, a more personal question.

Even if you never collected comics starting as a kid.

Maybe you started seeing them in the movies.

Super heroes.

Then where were you when he left?

Super heroes.

We all need them, maybe now more than ever.

They’re around. They’re all around.

It’s fitting that Stan Lee would pass away on a day when we observe our real-life super heroes, those living and those that have passed on before us: our veterans that fought on our behalf and still fight.

Veterans Day.

President Trump and his wayward umbrella on Air Force 1 (YouTube)

And how odd it seems that I found out about Stan Lee when our Commander in Chief, wouldn’t go out of his way to honor those who fought what was to be the “war to end all wars” just outside Paris – because it was raining.


The French were making fun of him and that was the lead story in Britain’s Guardian. Read online. Peppered with pictures of Obama donning an umbrella speaking another time, and other world leaders getting wet during other engagements. Our current, struggling to get his umbrella, having it upside down, and still open in, the doorway of Air Force One. Certainly, he can’t be concerned about having a bad hair day.

The other lead story: Stan Lee Dies at age 95.

My first thought was I didn’t know he was that old. He had such joie de vie. We see him showing up in his own Marvel movies, doing a quick cameo, while the audience cheers, and wait until all the credits roll to see if he planted a surprise. Much more lighthearted than the cameos with old Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino or the news of the day.

The news so inhuman.

Stan Lee gave the superheroes a modicum of humanity that seemed to make them more genuine, more believable and more like ourselves.

An idiosyncratic adolescent teen bit by a spider (they’re all radioactive, now aren’t they?) now web slinging his way saving humanity; a college student for his dissertation builds a rocket ship to the moon, brings his school mates and his girlfriend along for the ride and they encounter radiation that gives them super powers and they too decide to make positive use of them. One didn’t turn out so well, but he is loved, at times cowering in shame, but still part of the team. The quirky billionaire that heads a defense conglomerate that builds himself a suit; it is armament and weapon itself, so that he too can save the day.

And so many others. Believable? You don’t have to, but we have come to believe in them. So many movies, so many heroes for those that haven’t read the comics and those that have.


We need this.

The hero: outside the fold, descends even further, is actualized, returns and takes care of business. The quintessential journey that all of us make whether we can fly, walk through walls, turn invisible or not.

Each one of us, we all have our own gifts and we can choose to be good or we can choose to be a vial self-serving super villain: spreading discord and disdain, with a cloud hanging over us, where ever it is, we go.


Stan Lee from his facebook page

Stan Lee took us away into a universe where everything always works out. Conflicts are resolved not by looking down the barrel of a gun, or in a courtroom, (but not exactly peacefully either, as this is still America) – instead by slamming someone through a wall, then a fissure slicing into another dimension, bending the laws of physics, tweaking the dynamics of time and space.

And everyone is good looking, has good teeth, is built well and commands awesome hair.

Stan Lee, like all super heroes never really dies.

Thanks for the journey. Thanks for the legends.

Top illustration by Jeff Worman





About the author

Jeff Worman

Jeff Worman lives in Walworth County, Wisconsin where there is water and a crisp, cool night sky conducive to the creative process. He has been drawing and writing since he was able to hold a pencil in his hand. Worman started out as a high school intern at the Bugle-American, an alternative newspaper in Milwaukee, and was a founder and long standing contributor to the Crazy Shepherd which emerged from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is published currently as the Shepherd Express. Worman’s column The Hourly Why was conceived in 1982, published broadly in underground newspapers over the decades and can be found online today at He also channels his signature character Deke Marler who hosts Music Time USNA (United States of North America), a radio show from the future, spinning ads for hovercrafts and brain implants, traffic reports between earth and sister colonies, with interstellar news and weather. Blues jams with musicians from his neck of the woods feature Worman on the harmonica and, on occasion, his parodying lyrics. In addition to cartooning, illustrating and reporting, Worman serves as secretary of Kettle Moraine Community Broadcasting, which is home to WFAQ-LP-FM, 101.3 Mukwonago and He has a great love of the outdoors and champions charities by riding those long distance centuries on his road bike to raise funds. Contact the author.

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